For years I struggled with the concept of understanding my “calling” or life purpose. I know that I want to make a difference in the world, and I try to do that in small ways each day. But I have a wide variety of interests, skills, and talents that don’t seem to come under one cohesive idea that I could say is my “calling.”
This really bugs me, and it has for years. Especially when someone asks me what I'd really like to do, or when I need to set some long range goals. These trigger a downward spiral of angst and thoughts of “what do you want to be when you grow up?”
For decades I labored under a wrong mindset that clarity on my calling would come to me in an a-ha moment. It would appear as some new overarching concept that would corral my complexity, explain why I am the way I am, and blaze a path forward into my future.
But that magic moment never came. I’d get insights and glimpses along the way, but then I’d complicate them with thoughts of “OK, but what about this area, and this skill, and this experience? Where do they fit in?” And then I’d be back in a muddle.
Then one morning I was journaling and praying and I had an insight that changed everything. Clarity isn't about explaining everything in your life. Instead, it’s identifying the one thing that you know you want to do - that thing that’s already inside of you - and not getting distracted by everything else.
It’s actually a process of removal - of burning off the fog of complication and outside expectations so only the one thing remains - and then protecting its simplicity.
So I decided to run with this new mindset. I asked my gut, “without thinking about it, if someone asked you what your purpose is, what would you say?” And I just blurted it out – “Helping people find their calling.” (ironic, huh?)
This didn’t come as a lightning bolt - in fact it was kind of underwhelming. I’ve been doing this for so long and I’m so close to it that I actually devalued it. I thought that if it was that important it needed to be harder, of more complicated, or more difficult. Turns out that’s not the case.
Now I’m using my mental energy to keep it simple and not overcomplicate it.
How about you? What's your main thing? Are you overcomplicating it or thinking it’s not good enough? I’d love to hear your thoughts.